Google agreed to shoulder financial burden in Samsung-Apple patent battle

Google agreed to shoulder financial burden in Samsung-Apple patent battle

Summary: Documents reveal that Google agreed to assist Samsung financially in the patent dispute between the South Korean firm and Apple.


Google agreed to provide financial support to Samsung to help the company defend itself against patent litigation brought forward by rival firm Apple.


The tech giant, whose Android operating system is used in Samsung smartphones and tablets, agreed to assist the South Korean electronics maker in the $2 billion patent dispute between the company and Apple. 

Apple claims that 10 Samsung products, including the Galaxy S3, infringe upon patents covering user-interface technologies.

According to sister site CNET, Google patent attorney James Maccoun authenticated emails sent between Google and Samsung in 2012 which stated the former would "defend and indemnify" Samsung over the technology Apple claims infringes upon its patents. The emails revealed that Google would shoulder some of the financial burden for the cost of defense, as well as potential damages if Samsung lost.

During Maccoun's deposition, the attorney said:

I see [indemnify] as a general term relating to providing a defense against claims and then can mean other things depending on the outcome of litigation. I understand that Google is defending Samsung and that this is reflected by emails.

The reason? Samsung and Google agreed to a "Mobile Application Distribution Agreement" which required the South Korean firm to include Google apps on its Galaxy smartphone and tablet range. In return, Google would help with potential legal costs related to this technology, which could involve up to two out of the five disputed patents. In addition, should Apple win, a ban on Samsung devices would also keep Google apps out of consumer hands.

The iPhone and iPad maker was awarded $930 million in damages in the first round of the lawsuit, and is now demanding financial restitution of up to $40 for each of the 37 million Samsung devices which are allegedly using infringed-upon intellectual property, after failing to convince a judge to ban the sale of specific Samsung products.

Apple is seeking $2.2 billion in damages, while Samsung is asking for $6.2 million for alleged Apple infringement.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Stanford Law School professor Mark Lemley called the disparity in damage claims a "strategic decision" by Samsung to "portray Apple as greedy, given the remarkably high per-phone price Apple is seeking."

Topics: Apple, Google, Patents, Samsung

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  • World Tech war 2

    The world Tech War 1 happened in 1989 with Apple suing Microsoft HP for "copying" their GUI OS, but later lost by Apple. Google admits to the features in the litigation that Apple claimed but are encoded differently. Those same features are in Sony's phone, who Apple rely upon for their camera sensor, and in LG phone, who Apple rely upon for display technology.
    Nathane Grave
  • Seems reasonable they would support Samsung...

    ...after all...Dead Steve Jobs once said "I'm Going to Destroy Android, Because It's a Stolen Product"

    And if there was anyone who was familiar with "Stolen Product" was Boy Wonder.

    "Good artists copy; great artists steal"
  • Apple saw

    a mini-van who's side door "swiped" open. They are suing GM, Ford, and Chrysler now for stealing their idea on how to open a door.

    Sheesh, will someone please close the nut-house door?
    • They need to stop.

      I agree. Something needs to be done now. Apple wants credit for everything that android does. When televisions started to circulate I've never read where RCA sued Motorola or GE on infringement of copyrights. They made their products better by using each improving the technology they used and others.
  • Google should have been doing this already

    It would have been highly appropriate for it to come to the legal aid of Barnes and Noble, for example.
    John L. Ries
  • Apple is just sore that

    there are items going out the door to the consumer that they are not getting their 30% out of. Seems that is their magic number, I hear is what they want out of those that write apps for Ianything and have it in the Apple Store.. the prices on their phones.. others do more in the same size and beat the heck out of them on price.. must be that 30% profit margin..

    So why would anyone say that Apple is Greedy?

    Maybe greedy is being way, way too kind?
  • Where was it....

    I saw an article a few years back where the author created an image that showed [at the time] all the lawsuits going around. At the "center" [or in this case 2 centers] of the diagram were Apple and Samsung [if I remember right]. and all the other companies involved around them either with lines pointing at one another or other companies.
    Apple, I noticed a while started a lawsuit and then kept on adding products to get banned [or whatever] as if a judge would allow that [very rare]. In the case of [say] Galaxy S3, they could ban that but it is on the way out anyways with the Galaxy S5 out.
    Expect Apple to add the Galaxy S4 and S5 if not already.